French politics

And now, it’s time for change!

French voters made their decision and chose the socialist François Hollande as president of the Republic with 51.64% of the polls vs. 48.38% for Nicolas Sarkozy, the outgoing candidate.

The current head of State failed his challenge: getting a new five-year-term to the head of the fifth world power and convincing Frenchs he was the man of the situation despites the financial crisis. The anti-sarkozysme probably had an impact but can’t only explain the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy. After the results, the man, apparently sounded, immediately assumed and delivered a dignified and deep speech to his supporters at La Mutualité, in Paris. Considering himself as responsible for this defeat, he confirmed he is going to quit politics.

François Hollande is succeeding Nicolas Sarkozy the next 15th of May, during the transfer of power at the Elysée Palace. This transfer is exceptional because no left political leader has been elected to the French presidency for seventeen years. This special event was warmly welcomed by the Hollande supporters who stormed La Bastille, as in 1981, partied and acclaimed the new president around 1:15 am.

As I already wrote, the election of François Hollande is a major event not only because he is the first time a socialist is elected as president of France since 1998 but because it is an end of a period dominated by ten-year-right-governance, in which five years of sarkozysme. What is more, the François Hollande election is quite audacious in the context of crisis in Europe. This is the first challenge of the future socialist Head of State: put growth forward to re-launch the European integration. The challenge may be hard to lead in a very conservative EU but the election of François Hollande may be a turning-point especially vis-à-vis Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. This is the hope of some specialists who are afraid of the effects of the austerity policy as designed and implemented currently, and defended by Berlin.

François Hollande will have as another challenge to unite and bring French back together, taking into account hopelessness of some. The results of Marine Le Pen, the far right leader and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the radical left leader seems to be a serious warning. The president-elect knows it and will have to give some concrete results, if he wishes set his authority and get a popular support. The task may be harsh and the challenge is worth.

That’s why, just after his victory, François Hollande called Frenchs to give him a majority after the next legislative elections of June. The poll is quite open because of the result made by Nicolas Sarkozy although the conservative candidate already announced he was not going to lead the campaign for the Parliament. Moreover, he is highly probable French will give a majority to François Hollande to he can lead his policy.

On the next days, I will propose you a deeper analysis of the main and future challenges expecting Hollande, the French left and the French right.